Emergency services were called out to Westwood Lake when a swimmer went under the water while swimming to a nearby dock and failed to resurface.
Police say the call came in around 8 p.m. Tuesday.
Bystanders on scene managed to get the man out of the water and initiate CPR.
The life saving measures were taken over by emergency services upon their arrival on scene, for a total of 30 minutes of resuscitation.
The victim was transported to Nanaimo Regional General Hospital, where at approximately 5 a.m. he was pronounced deceased.
The family has been notified.
Vancouver Island University issued a statement regarding the incident Thursday.
“On behalf of the University, I want to offer my deepest and most heartfelt condolences to the student’s family, loved ones, their friends here at Vancouver Island University and abroad, and to everyone that knew and loved them,” wrote Deborah Saucier, president of the school.
“Our community shares your grief, and you are in our thoughts. As a parent and university president, I am heart-broken for your loss.